Which Castle modules first?

I have a very large audio and video system, lets get that out of the way first, nearly 1 or more of every expedition module, plus some cadets and other random diy modules. Now, onto my question. I think i’d like to experiment with some Castle series modules. But which should I start with? The ADC and DAC seem obvious, but which others? And moving forward, which Castle modules are good to have multiples of?


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My first two were the Shift Register and Multigate, even before I built the ADC and DAC. If you have Arch, then you already have some of the logic stuff that Multigate offers.
I have to say I’m still learning about them as I patch, but they’re very powerful!

i got castle modules even before getting a video oscillator - my first one was the shift reg soon followed by the clock vco and multigate

it was great fun to experiment with a) feedback on the multigate b) adding fun artefacts to source images with the shift register (first just vertical lines with audio oscillators but then more scanline “pixels” with video oscillators) - i still don’t have the adc dac duo and not planning on it anytime soon.

also, sometimes i found the clock vco more beautiful than the always elegant-looking (no offence intended) cadet vco

counter is fun too, it is amazing even with just one video oscillator plus when the U/D input is controlled by some gate from an audio patch (sequencer clock div, etc)

+1 on the Shift Register and Multigate. No ADC or DAC required.

Same with the Flip Flops. I really like that one because you can put RGB in and get three outputs as well (it’s sort of like a Shift Register without the shifting; though I suppose, in reality, Shift Register is a flip flop with shifting).

Also, still haven’t gotten around to building a DAC but I do have an ADC and it is actually pretty nice on its own as well. The middle bit especially creates some interesting, glitchy-looking keys.

Honestly, have been pleasantly surprised how much I find myself using the Castles. They’re great!


One cool thing about the DAC is it is just two weighted analog mixers, so you can use it for quick fixed-attenuation summing two video signals and an LFO or something. It also uses only one LM6172 chip!

Love all the Castles, the Counter is a favorite. I feel like they all benefit from double or even triple modules, I have 2x of most of them but find myself wanting more logic and counters/shift registers. Would love to daisy-chain 2 or 3 shift registers and experiment with some nonlinear feedback shift registers or other more complex logic circuits.


indeed, that is why i am planning on a dac too - really good for the digital outs but other signals as well - and yes, would love to see another shift reg which is differently clocked indeed - (Fortress looks also like a masterpiece for me, but in the end i really love the learning ethos or curve of the cadet/castle modules too.)

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in my experience a 4x dac 3x adc setup is very nice. (note that the dac is already dual, so 4x dac = 2 modules)
You can layer the several ADC patterns with offset, so that you get even more complex stepped grayscales from the dac. With a camera feedback as input this will become very interesting because the base signal is wobbly and dynamic.
here are some pics from a 4xdac 2xadc liveset (with feedback)

I also really like the logic castle (multigates), you can slice and dice video signals .


I have multiples of flip flops, counter and shift Reg. All great fun.

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Good discussion here guys, thanks! It just makes me want all of them. lol I settled on the Clock VCO, Counter and Shift Register for now.

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I you want to do the basic “pixelate my source” patch you want that flip flops


Don’t worry, it’ll be in the next batch I pick up. I’ve been trying to slim down my pile of backlogged projects, so 3 at a time is enough for now. My case still has holes to fill after those 3.


Hi @Jefro :wave:t3:
It’s been weekly a year since you & the others here have last written, how do you find the Castle range? I’ve just finished a couple of mine in the last 3 days, the Flip-Flops & Multi-Gate, they’re nuts. If you or anyone else feels they’ve posted some good video work online, please post some links here with tips to further the discussion.

Just put together this video the other day, leaning heavily on Castle modules (especially Counter and Multi-Gate, but also Flips Flops and ADC).

Though of course this is just the tip of the iceberg as far as what they can do. Wanted to keep this relatively simple, monochrome, rectilinear. I think sometimes the challenge is not to overcomplicate things.

+++ Should note, I guess, since the whole thing is composed of audiovisualization via Sensory Translator, that this is not recommended for those with photosensitivity as there is quite a bit of flashing.


did you edit several recordings together or is this one patch?
looks wonderfully minimal and interesting!


No, no. Definitely a lot of editing. Ran through the track 7 times with different reactive patches, then edited my favorite bits together in Premiere (keeping each bit synced as it was in the original patch — i.e. not moving anything around in the timeline; just editing stuff out or duplicating clips).

While one probably could do this all live, in one take, it would require a much bigger system than I have.

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I thought so :slight_smile:
Very nice editing job. the positioning is very much in line with the style

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That’s a great composition @sean :+1:t3:
I’m seriously impressed.
Did you take a photo of the patch? I’m curious to see it.

Kind of back to the topic, I haven’t seen anyone really talk about the #Castle101 #QuadGates module. I’ve nearly finished mine but I’m curious as to why the low profile.

Perhaps because the Quad gate needs a specific intention to be known before building (selecting which gate type), so I assume most would be more inclined to build a Multi Gate to start with…

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Ha ha, wicked photo edit :star_struck:
Ahh, truth! I was looking at the BOM the other day & there were two “alternative” IC suggestions: a 2-input NOR or a 2-input NAND. I found that weird but now it makes sense, thanks @Rik_bS :+1:t3:
The default IC (4073) is described as a Logic Gates Quad Exclusive.

PS. Have you built the Quad Gates & if so, what’s your thoughts about it and how does it compare to the Multi-Gate?

@Robbertunist Did not take photos of any of the patches used, but they were all some variation on this general signal flow:

Sometimes a module or two more was involved. Sometimes less. But mostly it was this general schema, with different oscillator settings (and osc CV settings) and different outputs from the Counter and Multigate creating vastly different results.

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